Tag Archives: zoos

Day trip: Schloss Esterhazy (Burgenland) & Forchtenstein

Schloss EsterhazyOn Easter Monday, we escaped the bad weather in Vienna and headed to Eisenstadt, the capital of Burgenland to visit Schloss Esterházy (less than 1 hour drive). With our Niederösterreich Card in hand, we knew we’d save some money and ended up not having to pay admission to see the Haydn exhibit in the castle (7 Euros). It turns out that the composer, Joseph Haydn, was born in Eisenstadt and the lead musician at the Castle until his death (things you learn in museums!) – the museum is small but quite interactive with many videos (one on the ceiling, great entertainment for kids) – and while there are no signs, please note that there is no photography allowed inside (don’t ask how I know!).

Haydn Braeu - great lunch stop!After a stroll around the castle, we walked down the pedestrian zone, past the Rathaus (city hall), and ended up having lunch at Haydn Bräu, a great brewery with tasty Austrian food and beer ( they have great lunch specials)!

Since yesterday was the first day, we could use our  Niederösterreich Card, we researched other nearby attractions beforehand, and drove to the city of Forchtenstein following lunch (about 20 minutes away). There, we headed up the mountain towards the castle there (Schloss Forchtenstein) because directly across the entrance was another attraction we wanted to visit – the Reptile Zoo! With our handy little savings card, we saved the 12.50 Euro admission price and got to peek at a few hundred snakes and other reptiles. We initially went there because our son is obsessed with snakes but we soon learned that he much preferred the “normal” stuffed snakes and perhaps one or two real ones to the hundreds displayed there. Nevertheless, if you are into real life reptiles and snakes, this zoo is well worth a visit with an impressive collection of critters.

Schloss Forchtenstein in the snow

Schloss Forchtenstein in the snow

Reptile Zoo

Reptile Zoo

For more information:

Vienna Zoo

Elephants galore!

I’ve been to a few zoos in my life (across many cities and countries!) but I cannot say that I have visited one zoo more often than the one here – Tiergarten Schönbrunn (I think I’ve been about 11 times since we moved here last year….I am not exaggerating).

If you haven’t been, I strongly encourage a visit! Not only is it the world’s oldest zoo (or so they say!) but it is definitely one of the most beautiful ones – and how can it not be? It’s literally a short stroll down from Schloss Schönbrunn (makes a great day outing to visit both or combine the Technical Museum with the Zoo as that’s also only a short walk away!).

If you have kids, don’t even think twice about getting the yearly card (39 Euros for the year – valid for one year after purchase; single entrance 15 Euros per adult; kids up to 6 years are free) and when you do, fill out the application for the free “zoocard” which gives you extra savings (like 10% at the yummy Tirolergarten restaurant). Did I mention there are multiple playgrounds, lots of space to run around (or for kids to ride their scooters/bikes), tons of animals (including 2 pandas), and … beergardens (gasp!)?! And – very important – when you visit, make sure you are there for the 10:30 sea lion feeding … just make sure to stand back or bring an umbrella!

Sea fion feeding - not to be missed!

For more information:

Landgut Wien Cobenzl

This farm is located in the 19th district, a short drive or ride on the 38A bus from Grinzing (stop Cobenzl parking lot). It is good place for children age 10 and under. The farm has a variety of animals the children can visit and feed (animal feed can be purchased on site), and each shelter building has lots of information about the animals that live there.

The farm also does seasonal activities; “like” them on Facebook to get updates!cobenzl

Directly across from the farm is Weingut Cobenzl, a winery with a tasting room and outdoor patio, and Waldgrill Cobenzl, a family-friendly restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating.

For more information:

Zoos and Aquariums in Vienna

Coming soon!  Meanwhile, please visit our Links for Zoos & Aquariums.

The Schmetterlinghaus (Butterfly House). Photo courtesy of http://kellylynnphotography.blogspot.com.